Betting Spread – Padres -160. Total 8.5
The San Diego Padres get to host the St. Louis Cardinals in game one of their postseason. This is unfamiliar territory for this Padres team seeing the postseason, but what a season they had. I said countless times coming into the season that this was a team I was bullish on vs the market and we used this to grab some very favorable lines early with the Padres. The market did adjust though, but the Padres just kept on winning. Lead by star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr, live bats up/down the lineup, an above average starting staff, and an underachieving bullpen, this team sets up well for the Playoffs.
On the other side, we have the Cardinals who are no stranger to playing this time of year. As a team, this Cardinals bunch was a below average hitting team with very limited power. This team was dead last in home runs in all of MLB this season with only 51. What they did do well to get here though is on the pitching side. Top 10 ERA in the MLB including live arms in their rotation and backed up by a strong bullpen. This is a team that will aim to win low scoring games if they are to make a run to the World Series.
In this game today, we have Chris Paddack going for the Padres vs Kwang Hyun Kim. Chris Paddack certainly regressed a bit this year from where many expected him to be. His year was a borderline rollercoaster, but once again he looked sharper at home and that’s where he’ll be for this start. Paddack’s numbers aren’t great by any means, but he is better vs RHBs and he’ll see plenty from this Cardinals lineup. He’s also had a huge issue with the home run ball this year and going against a squad that doesn’t have much HR threat, this could help him plenty in this start. The first 1-2 innings will be telling. This is the biggest start of this young kid’s career, but if he can settle in early, he could be in store for a good game before handing the ball off to the pen.
Kwang Hyun Kim out of the KBO has just had a tremendous season. As silly as this may sound, this righty heavy Padres lineup has a lower OPS vs lefties than righties and Kim comes from the left side. Crazy when you realize how many big RHBs are on this team, but the numbers don’t lie. Kim gets the nod over Flaherty today and again, his numbers are just silly good. 1.62 ERA with a 3.88 FIP throwing primarily four different pitches. He is equally good vs righties and lefties despite seeing over 4x as many righties this season. Not a big strikeout guy, but is crafty with his pitch selection with above average location.
We all know how live these Padres bats are, but this is a young team. Wouldn’t be crazy to assume we get some nerves early from them. As for the Cardinals, this team is filled with veterans, but simply haven’t hit well all year. Paddack is known to have blow up innings and will need to be good here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the early hook if struggling. The Padres haven’t seen Kim this season and as mentioned, he’s quite a crafty arm. With all the power on the Padres side, a total like this could soar over if a few balls leave the yard, but even after Kim leaves, the Cardinals have a great bullpen.
All en all, we get a young team in the Padres going against a real good arm in Kim and a volatile Paddack seeing a lineup that hasn’t scared anyone this season. This line has jumped up from 8 to 8.5 which could be for a few different reasons, but I of course still like my under even at 8 which I posted up last night. Good luck tonight with all your bets folks and as always gamble responsibly.
UNDER 8 Runs -104